As the name suggests, the Royal Regalia Museum houses a collection of royal memorabilia including the royal chariot, ceremonial armoury, the jewel-encrusted crowns used during His Majesty’s coronation and a replica of the throne used by the Sultan on state occasions. It also houses several galleries, namely the Royal Regalia Exhibition, the Royal Exhibition Gallery, the Perpuspaan Gallery, the Silver Jubilee Gallery and the Constitutional History Gallery. The museum was officially declared an ASEAN Landmark in 2017.
Opening hours: Sat to Thurs: 9am – 5pm
Located in Kota Batu, the Malay Technology Museum is known to display traditional activities such as handicraft, fishing and other traditional hunting techniques, cloth weaving, boat construction, sago production and stilt architecture. These activities illustrate the traditional lifestyle and practices of the country’s Malay and indigenous ethnic groups. The displays are allocated across three different galleries. The first gallery exhibits the traditional houses in Kampong Ayer as inhabited by Malays. The second gallery showcases traditional technology as used in Kampong Ayer, while the third gallery focusses on the technologies and crafts of indigenous ethnic groups such as Dusun, Murut and Kedayan of the inland villages.
The Brunei Museum is Brunei Darussalam’s national museum. Located in Kota Batu and completed in 1970, the museum was officially opened on February 29, 1972 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The museum showcases not only Brunei’s history but also Southeast Asian history, dating back to the 1500s during Spain and Portugal’s arrival, in addition to an Islamic art gallery and a natural history gallery. The museum features archaeological artefacts including ceramics from Iran and Central Asia, blown glass pieces from Egypt and the Levant dating all the way back to the ninth and 10th centuries. Also on display are manuscripts of Al-Quran and jewellery and Chinese ceramics recovered from Brunei waters.
The Brunei Museum is currently closed for refurbishment.
Located at Jalan Pengiran Babu Raja, Balai Khazanah Islam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (BKISHHB) features galleries that display Islamic artefacts and manuscripts, embodying His Majesty’s wish to preserve the treasure of Islamic knowledge and heritage. Following its temporary closure, BKISHHB was reopened on December 12, 2022. There are nine exhibition galleries including ‘Kebestarian Raja’, ‘Mushaf’, ‘Rambut Mulia Rasulullah SAW’, ‘Athar Sahabat’, ‘Warisan Ilmu 1’, ‘Warisan Ilmu 2’, ‘Tandatanda Kebesaran Allah’, ‘Astronomi dan Kesenian Islam’, and ‘Tongkat dan Tasbih’. Opening hours:
Sat to Thurs: 9am – 5pm
First opened in 1982, the Brunei History Centre is situated right next to the Royal Regalia Museum. The centre was set up to perform research pertaining to the history of Brunei Darussalam, specifically on the background and genealogies of the Sultans of Brunei. Featuring the Borneo Manuscripts Gallery, the Ancient Brunei History Gallery, the Brunei Golden Age Gallery and Constitution Gallery among others for those who want to learn about the rich history of Brunei.
Opening hours: Mon to Thurs and Sat: 8am – 4pm
Fri: Closed Sun: 8am – noon
Set up to preserve Bruneian traditional arts and handicraft, the centre was first established in 1975 and then moved to its current location at Jalan Residency along Brunei River. The Brunei Arts and Handicrafts Training Centre displays various items such as hand-woven baskets, silverware, brassware, jong sarat and carved wood items. Visitors may also learn traditional arts and handicraft practices through courses offered by the centre.
Opening hours: Sat to Thurs and Sun: 8am – 5pm
Fri: 8am – 11am and 2pm – 5pm
Located in Kota Batu, the Maritime Museum showcases Brunei’s maritime culture of different ships and vessels throughout history. The front of the building was designed to depict the front view of a ship, reflecting the country’s role as a centre of flourishing trade in the ancient times. The museum is home to three galleries, with the main exhibition being the display of a shipwreck believed to be from China found in 1997. The exhibition includes more than 13,000 porcelain artefacts as well as Pulau Terendak, an island unearthed at Kota Batu’s archaeological site.
Believed to be the ancient capital of Brunei between the 14th and 17th centuries, Kota Batu is considered an important archaeological hotspot and a national heritage. Archaeological remains that can be found at the park include wood and stone structures, potteries, coins, jewelleries, craftwork and other artefacts that have been preserved for the past 700 years, offering a glimpse into what used to be a busy centre for Bruneians in the past.
Located in the picturesque Kampong Tamoi Tengah in Kampong Ayer, the cultural village lets guests experience cultural shows and activities such as bird watching and traditional fishing. The village’s focal point is the ornately adorned 18th Century Brunei style house, embellished with traditional finery and antiques dating back 300 years.
Dubbed ‘Venice of the East’, Brunei Darussalam’s Kampong Ayer opened its own Cultural and Tourism Gallery in 2009 to highlight the history of Kampong Ayer while preserving Brunei’s heritage. The building houses five mini galleries which illustrate Kampong Ayer’s history and origin, with handicraft and relics from a bygone era also on display.
Other features of the gallery include a multimedia display showcasing information on various tourist sites in Brunei, an audiovisual room which plays archived footages of life in Kampong Ayer, a souvenir shop selling traditional handicraft, an observation tower allowing visitors a stunning panoramic view of Kampong Ayer and the capital’s skyline. The gallery is accessible by taking a water taxi from the Dermaga Diraja.
Opening hours: Mon to Thurs and Sat: 9am – 4.30pm
Fri and Sun: Closed
Copyright 1993 Borneo Bulletin Yearbook All rights reserved.